Ultimate 2000s Blogathon: Queen of the Damned (2002) by 18 Cinema Lane

Next stop in the Ultimate 2000s Blogathon comes to us from Sally Silverscreen at 18 Cinema Lane. 18 Cinema Lane is a place for all kinds of film however Sally Silverscreen is a fan of Hallmark films and the stop for a lot of reviews on those types of films. This time, Sally comes to us with something a little different as she takes a look at 2002 drama Queen of the Damned with an editorial looking at the Toxic Valentine.

queen of the damned

Toxic Valentine: Why Lestat and Akasha’s relationship is very problematic in Queen of the Damned (2002)

Ah, Valentine’s Day. A day when the general theme of love is celebrated. The colors of red and pink are a signature staple whenever February 14th comes around. Hearts are the official shape of the holiday, sometimes filled with candy. This special day is usually known as a happy occasion, a time we can set aside to show the people around us how much we truly care about them. Movie fans sometimes take part in Valentine’s Day festivities by talking about their favorite cinematic couples, sharing their opinions on why they think these relationships are romantic and using select movie quotes and scenes to prove their point. However, we movie fans know that not every cinematic relationship is a healthy one. Some of them are down-right toxic.

In this editorial, I will be talking about a cinematic relationship that I, personally, feel is very problematic. By looking at the title, you might already know which on-screen couple I will be talking about. Last October, when I reviewed Queen of the Damned, I mentioned that, to me, Lestat and Akasha’s relationship was one of the most problematic relationships I’ve ever seen in a movie. However, I was only able to briefly explain why I feel this way. Because of my involvement in the Ultimate 2000s blogathon, I now have a chance to explain, in detail, why this particular cinematic relationship is not a healthy one. Before I begin this editorial, I would just like to say that I am only creating this post out of pure honesty and based on my opinion. I am in no way creating this post to be mean-spirited or be negative toward anyone’s cinematic preferences/opinions. In this editorial, I will specifically be referencing the characters and story from the Queen of the Damned film. I will be bringing up specific scenes and quotes in order to prove my point. Now, let’s talk about why Lestat and Akasha’s relationship is problematic by looking at five key areas: lack of consent, lack of communication, a power imbalance, intentional harm toward a significant other, and a not-so-loving significant other.

Lack of Consent

One of the most important components to any romantic relationship is consent. Asking someone’s permission and making sure that both members of a relationship are comfortable before putting themselves and each other in any situation is usually seen as a sign of how much the other person cares for the one they love. Unfortunately, Lestat and Akasha’s relationship is lacking in this department.

In my Queen of the Damned review, I mentioned that Akasha is the one who controlled the relationship, using the analogy of Akasha driving a car and Lestat being stuck in the passenger seat. This is not only true, but it’s also important to keep this truth in mind when discussing these five key areas of Lestat and Akasha’s problematic relationship. The first instance of Akasha not asking for Lestat’s consent happens at his concert. During a performance at his concert, a group of vampires climb up on stage and try to hurt Lestat. Marius tries to fight off these vampires in order to protect Lestat, but eventually he and Lestat are surrounded by even more vampires. While Akasha shows up, in the middle of the concert, and defeats these vampires, she ends up taking advantage of the situation. Akasha crashes through the stage, (as if the concert were her own, making a showstopping entrance in the process) takes Lestat against his will, and leaves. We, the audience, never see her ask Lestat if he wants to go anywhere with her or if he even wants to leave his concert. In fact, we never see Akasha make an effort to contact Lestat and make plans with him ahead of time. While Akasha took away Lestat’s chance to choose whether or not he wanted to leave, this is not the last time Akasha refused ask for his consent.

After Akasha and Lestat leave his concert, they arrive at her house. During their conversation, Akasha briefly mentions her deceased husband. When Lestat asks Akasha about her late husband’s whereabouts, she tells him, “He’s no more. Now you are my consort”. Here, Akasha is not only forcing Lestat to be her new husband, but also forcing Lestat into a marriage with her that he has very little interest in being a part of. Once again, Akasha chose not to ask Lestat if he was okay with being in a relationship in her or if he wanted to be married to her at all. Instead, she refuses to give him a choice or a chance to voice his concerns. After this conversation, Lestat and Akasha have an intimate moment with each other in a tub filled with water and red rose petals. We, the audience, don’t see Akasha asking Lestat if he’s comfortable with the situation or if he even wants to be in the situation. During this scene, it appears, at times, that Lestat is comfortable sharing this intimate moment with Akasha. However, there are a few times when Lestat appears as if he’s slipping out of consciousness. While body language can be helpful in figuring out what someone wants or needs, body language only tells a part of the story. It seems as if Akasha only relied on a select portion of Lestat’s body language in order to receive the message she wanted to hear. Whenever Lestat appears to be slipping out of consciousness, Akasha never addresses Lestat’s reaction or asks him if anything is wrong. She just acts like nothing out of the ordinary is happening.

Lack of Communication

A necessary component that is interwoven with consent is communication. In a romantic relationship, words are needed to share feelings, address concerns, and build/strengthen a bond. As I mentioned before, Akasha is the one controlling her relationship with Lestat. Therefore, she is controlling their conversation. During their first conversation at her house, Akasha is talking at Lestat and not to him, leaving very little room for Lestat to contribute to their conversation. In fact, half of this conversation is about Akasha. For example, when she tells Lestat about things she has observed about him, she says “You live your life in the open, like I did”. After she tells Lestat that he is now her husband, Akasha tells him “That’s why I kept you safe. Alive”. It seems like Akasha always finds a way to insert herself into the conversation. She doesn’t want to bother with Lestat’s perspective on anything. It is clear that Akasha is not interested in participating in an equally balanced conversation between her and Lestat.

It’s also important to observe how Akasha talks about Lestat. She mostly refers to him as “my love” or my king”. However, she only addresses Lestat by his name on less than three occasions. Based on this observation, it appears that Akasha wants to highlight her connection to Lestat, almost as if she holds a sort of ownership over him. During the film’s climax, when Lestat is drinking some of her blood, Akasha tells the other vampires in her presence “You see how he obeys me”. In that sentence alone, Akasha not only refuses to address Lestat by his name, but also seems like Akasha does not see Lestat as an equal sigfinicant other to her, but instead something she feels she can control.

A Power Imbalance

In a healthy relationship, both members should be equal to one another. Any type of power should be shared amongst each other and a balanced amount of control should be given to each member of that relationship. Unfortunately, this is not the case for Lestat and Akasha’s relationship. Because Akasha is a queen and one of the first vampires ever created, according to Queen of the Damned, Akasha feels she has the right to do, say, act, and treat others whatever and however she wants. This is why Akasha is the one controlling her relationship with Lestat, because she feels she is the most important and powerful vampire in that particular cinematic world. In the morning, after Akasha takes Lestat to her house, she tells him “This is but a taste of what we shall share, my love. My king. Behold our kingdom”. However, Akasha purposefully leaves him out of the process of building their “kingdom”. Lestat wakes up all alone and, later, finds several dead mortals at the pool and on the beach. He has no idea where Akasha is until she shows up minutes later. During this conversation, Lestat appears to be unhappy with what Akasha is telling him, even looking disgusted when Akasha talks about the dead mortals on her property. In their relationship, Lestat and Akasha never make any decisions together, don’t discuss any matters of importance, or contemplate Lestat new “title”. It honestly feels as if Lestat and Akasha aren’t on the same page, let alone the same book.

Because of Akasha’s title and her amount of control in their relationship, if appears to be negatively affecting Lestat as a person. Earlier in the film, Lestat is interacting with two female fans. When one of the fans tries to physically take advantage of him, Lestat pushes her hands away and tells her “Don’t do that”. Since there was no power imbalance present in this interaction, Lestat appeared comfortable addressing this fan’s error in not asking for his consent. In his relationship with Akasha, Lestat says very little to her. In the two conversations they had at her house, Lestat only asks short questions. At Marahet’s house, during the film’s climax, Lestat mostly stays silent, more often than not speaking when someone is addressing him. During their intimate moment in the rose petal filled tub, Lestat doesn’t say a word to Akasha, even when she bites his chest. Based on his reaction, it seems like Lestat was negatively affected by her actions, but doesn’t speak up about it to Akasha. It hard to tell if he is remaining quiet out of fear or to play along with Akasha’s plan in order to defeat her. Throughout their relationship, the audience doesn’t receive any voice-overs from Lestat like in previous scenes within this film.

Intentional Harm toward a Significant Other

When we think of a typical, healthy relationship, we think of significant others who treat each other with kindness and respect. Images of loving actions, such as hugging and snuggling on the couch, sometimes come to mind. In Lestat and Akasha’s relationship, we never see them perform loving actions toward each other, such as hugging. Even though they have an intimate moment on two separate occasions, both of them involving a lot of kissing, that is the closest thing to a loving action we see throughout their relationship. During Lestat and Akasha’s intimate moment in the rose petal filled tub, Akasha decides to bite Lestat’s chest. This causes him to flinch in pain and have a bloody wound on his chest. Akasha, however, does not seem to care that she has physically hurt her “husband”. Instead, she continues to kiss Lestat as if nothing ever happened. Lestat also never mentions this incident to Akasha or anyone else. The next day, at Maharet’s house, Lestat drinks some of Akasha’s blood. When Akasha is trying to make Lestat stop, she physically pushes him to the point of, practically, throwing him. This causes Lestat to fall on cement stairs. Fortunately, Lestat does not appear to receive any injuries from this incident. As for Lestat, the only thing closest to a harmful action toward Akasha happens on two occasions;

a) When Lestat is drinking her blood, but in this situation, he is pretending not to stop in order to provide a distraction so the other vampires can have a chance to defeat Akasha and;

b) When Lestat drinks Akasha’s blood again, but this time, to protect himself and the others at Maharet’s house from Akasha’s dangerous and villainous ways.

A not-so-loving significant other

For any romantic relationship, there needs to be a significant amount of love between those two people. A true love where both individuals love that person for who they are as well each other’s characters is an important ingredient. In Lestat and Akasha’s relationship, however, it never feels like they truly love each other. Because Lestat was forced into the relationship by Akasha, it doesn’t seem like he is invested in the relationship. Meanwhile, Akasha claims to love Lestat, but her reasons for loving him make one wonder if her intentions are self-centered. Earlier in Queen in the Damned, Akasha visits a vampire bar. When she arrives, she sees Lestat on television. When a patron at the bar asks if she likes Lestat, Akasha replies by saying “He reminds me of someone”. Days later, when Akasha forcibly takes Lestat to her house, she tells Lestat “Now you are my consort. That’s why I kept you safe. Alive”. As Lestat asks her if she really did save him at his concert, Akasha asks him “You thought it was all you” and then says “The ego of a king as well”. Based on what Akasha has said, it seems like she loves Lestat because he reminds her of her deceased husband. Though she never directly tell Lestat or anybody this, it is left to be assumed by the audience.

During their relationship, Akasha doesn’t really make an effort to get to know Lestat. In fact, she assumes she knows enough about him in order for their relationship to work. In their first conversation at her house, she tells him “all your wishes are come true”. When Lestat asks Akasha to specify what wishes she’s referring to, she tells him “For a companion. To share eternity”. Prior to this interaction, Lestat never mentioned anything about wanting or needing a companion. In fact, when Marius visits Lestat in Los Angeles, he tells Marius “I only have myself. You taught me that”. Also, during Akasha and Lestat’s first conversation at her house, she tells him “You’re bold, like your music” and “I know you, Lestat. I know that you crave to have the world at your feet”. Two things happen because of Akasha’s assumptions. The first thing is Akasha is basing her knowledge of Lestat on the image he’s presented as a musical performer. She’s only listened to a few of his songs, seen him on television once, and interrupted his concert. The musical side of Lestat is only a small part of him, so Akasha does not have as much information about him as she thinks she does. The second thing is Akasha assumes she knows what Lestat wants. Throughout the film, Lestat has said that he wants to walk in the light and not hide in the shadows. But, because Akasha does not take the time to ask Lestat what he wants, she gives him a royal title that he did not want or ask for. In Lestat’s case, he knows enough about Akasha to know what kind of a person she is. All of his knowledge of her comes from Marius, after Lestat stumbled across Akasha’s statue-esque being in Marius’ house. While in Los Angeles, Marius shares with Lestat that not only has his music woken Akasha up, but that she also killed her husband and took his blood and powers.

As I’ve said before, Akasha is the one controlling this relationship. This causes her to feel like she can do and say whatever her vampire heart desires. Despite the fact that she is the film’s villain, she doesn’t seem to have any trace of kindness or empathy toward others. At Maharet’s house, during the film’s climax, Akasha asks Lestat if he loves her. When Lestat says “Yes”, Akasha says “Then prove it” and orders him to kill Jesse, a woman that Lestat not only knows quite well, but also would rather be in a romantic relationship with. If two people love each other, they do not need to prove anything to the other person. Their actions and choices should speak for themselves. By Akasha forcing Lestat to prove his “love” for her by hurting someone else shows that Akasha doesn’t really think that highly of Lestat or anybody that he personally knows. If their relationship was healthy, Lestat’s love for his significant other would be enough proof that he cares about that person. It seems no matter what Lestat does or says, it will never be good enough for Akasha.

While Lestat and Akasha’s relationship is very problematic, it fortunately does not last long. Lestat and the other vampires at Maheret’s house are able to successfully defeat Akasha. This allows Lestat to escape this toxic relationship and enter a healthy, romantic relationship with Jesse. When I’ve read reviews for Queen of the Damned, no one had brought up Lestat and Akasha’s horrible, but short-lived relationship. It also doesn’t help that this film’s marketing campaign paints their relationship in a very different light. On the film’s poster, Lestat and Akasha are the only two people featured in the image. In the trailer, not only are Lestat and Akasha the only two characters who are prominently featured, but the movie’s footage and the voice-overs are set up in a way that makes it seem like Lestat chose to be in a relationship with Akasha and had contemplated turning to the dark side. As my editorial and the film itself shows, this is far from the truth. Even though movie fans would, probably, rather talk about the cinematic relationships worth rooting for, it’s important to take the time to talk about the not-so-healthy relationships in film. When observing these choices and behaviors, we movie fans and people in general can learn how not to treat others as well as leading a better example in our own real-life relationships, whether or not they’re romantic. It will not only make for a better Valentine’s Day, but also for better and many years to come.

Have fun at the movies!


A huge thanks to Sally for joining the Ultimate 2000s Blogathon with this insightful and thorough editorial. Be sure to head over to her site, 18 Cinema Lane and give her a follow to check out her great content!

As always, you can find the full list of entries updated daily HERE!

Music Obsessions – February 2018

Its February and right in time for the Valentine’s special! So we’re going to do some romantic songs here. Honestly, my past month has been quite reminescent in catching up with Hong Kong pop music from singers that I’ve listened to before. I’ll have some other fun stuff as usual 🙂

Let’s go!

This Girl – Hunter Hayes 

Fun and energetic is what I love about Hunter Hayes’ songs. His love songs are always so positive and its really a nice and happy time to listen to.

真命天子 The One – Sammi Cheng

One of my ultimate favorite singers is Sammi Cheng. To me, she’s quite the queen of 90’s Hong Kong pop music. She is fantastic and within her tons of songs, I remember really love this one because of how happy it is especially when it was the theme of a 20 episode Hong Kong TV series that I really enjoyed a lot. She sings about the feelings of meeting and being with “the one”. I love how she uses heartbeat sounds to start the song.

你的男人 Your Man -Andy Hui

Quite the coincidence that I’ve always recently been listening to Andy Hui and catching up with his music. He also happens to be Sammi Cheng’s husband and their careers started in the 90’s at about the same time and their love story is quite something as they were together for a long time, broke up and then went back together and are married since a few years back. However, this song actually starts at around the 1:30 point as the story here is about a man growing out of his bad habits to be his girlfriend’s man and be able to save up to propose and get married debt-free. Andy Hui sings really  nice love songs and I’ve always been a fan.

最後最後 Last Dance -Fiona Sit

Probably the song that I’ve been listening the most on repeat in this month’s selection and one that is somewhat of a bittersweet story told by this music video about the song Last Dance. I can’t say that Fiona Sit is my favorite singer because she never had this very impressive vocal talents but her music is very catchy especially when one of her breakout songs translated is called Letter to Keanu Reeves and its incredibly cute. I’ve been reminiscing and listening to that one when I saw this song pop up in the recommended and its a newer song but her vocals are really quite good now and the song here is beautiful about the last dance of a couple that broke up over a stupid argument and the guy comes back after a few years for a last dance before he leaves to go back home.

手望 – Hins Cheung & Ivana Wong 

I’ve been a fan of Hins Cheung since the release of his first album. I can’t believe how long its been since he’s been in the business. Time sure does fly by. Before I stopped listening to Cantopop for a while, one of the last songs I listened to a lot was this duet between him and Ivana Wong (who is vouched by Jacky Cheung, who happens to be a king of the industry in 90’s and is one of the best singers ever in my opinion). This song is quite romantic. Unfortunately, there is a pun element to the title so I’m not exactly sure how to translate it. However, their vocals and the tune is just so awesome.

For the additional fun bit:

Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir – Free Dance ‘Moulin Rouge’ Canadian Skating Nationals 2018

I used to watch the Figure Skating Nationals and Olympics and everything all the time with my dad. After he passed, I actually stopped for whatever reason. I saw a post on this on Facebook the other day. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are amazing and got a perfect score for this routine. You could feel the beauty in their dance and coordination and it did feel like they were so in sync. It helps that they chose one of my favorite soundtracks, Moulin Rouge, which I listen to all the time.

That’s it for this February special Romantic Music Obsessions!
What have you been listening to?

4 Essentials for Breakfast in Bed on Mother’s Day

Breakfast in Bed is a rather novel and strange idea to myself. Why eat dinner in bed and make it all dirty because I might be the one to have to clean the sheets however, it is one of those lazy Sunday concepts that just warm up our hearts when we have the opportunity.

Coming from a Chinese family, breakfast in bed was non-existent. My parents, especially my mom, is an energetic and proactive woman. Even today, she doesn’t like wasting time in bed doing nothing. I still remember being a little girl and when I hung out with my mom on the weekends in bed, the time wasn’t wasted because she would take the time to teach me how to recite Chinese poetry.

Every mother is different however my mom valued the little things and she particularly likes to be frugal. With that said, this essentials for breakfast in bed is tailored to my mother specifically. Who says we can’t make Mother’s Day memorable without breaking our bank, right?

A Big Warm Hug

No Mother’s Day (or any day) can be free of a hug or hugs. What better way to start the day with one. It costs nothing and comes from our heart. Words of thanks and kisses on cheeks, the whole deal of love and gratitude for everything my mom has done for me. We might not always see eye to eye but she still is my best friend because I can’t help telling her everything even when I don’t quite know if she understands all the stuff in my life, particularly this blogging and podcasting thing. Still hugs are warm and loving and the perfect way to start the day. As I get older, we learn that there is no greater luxury that being able to steal a moment or two of doing nothing but relaxing in a cozy spot like our bed and its comfy mattress. If you are looking for a luxury mattress, consider checking out Leesa.

Fresh Cut Flowers from the Garden

Frugal comes into this. My mom loves flowers. In fact she is quite the gardener. Some days I wish I had half the skills she has however she never stops to teach me more. However, Mother’s Day is never without any flowers. The garden usually is blossoming with daffodils and tulips and if we are lucky, sometimes peonies are starting as well. This year being an exception because the weather is still lingering in the single digits (Celsius). This year’s fresh cut flowers will for sure be a bouquet of tulips from my yard.

Healthy and Hearty Breakfast

My mom is a health nut. Which has its benefit because as my husband likes to say, she is one tough cookie. She travels and in many ways, much more active than I am and competent in everything. My mom is quite the superwoman in my heart even if age slows her down a little bit now. Breakfast for her is all about being healthy. Its feeds and cleanses our bodies and prepares us for the day. When I lived with her, no matter how old I was, she’d always have something ready for me in the morning. Her choice would probably be plain oatmeal with assorted dried fruits and almond milk. That would be frugal option as we’d have all the material at home. However, if we were to go a little more traditional Chinese breakfast, it’d be congee with some rice rolls (like above).

Handmade Gift

via Pinterest

Finally, a handmade gift! What is more frugal than something that you’ve put your heart into. One year, my best friend and I celebrated a collaborated Mother’s Day gift where we did a photo story video with our own singing and put it all together with pictures when we were kids till grown up and took our families to dinner. It was a pretty fantastic gift. Both our moms loved it a lot and it was to thank them for what they did. I can’t share that video of course and since that idea is used, I’ll resort to making something either decorative and useful or even better, my mom’s idea of a best gift is something you can eat. She loves eating healthy snacks so what better than putting together a trail mix, right? A jar of trail mix so she can enjoy it for days to come while reading the newspaper or binging TV dramas.

Here’s my frugal version of Breakfast in Bed on Mother’s Day with these four essential components! 

What are your essentials for breakfast in bed for mom?

Netflix A-Z: Everything Before Us (2015)

I’m going to go on record right now to say that I’ve been looking forward to watch this since I first saw the trailer last year. Of course, things got busy and it kept slipping my mind to get this online to watch earlier but things always work out and it landed on Netflix! I’m not going to lie that this was part of the reason why Indie films was the theme for this round of A-Z. If you haven’t seen any videos of Wong Fu Productions, its probably because you haven’t been following me for that long. Or you just don’t care for it or you just missed the post. Whichever the reason is, I’m a huge fan of their short videos. My fave still goes out to this one that I did a post in my early days of blogging HERE.

Everything Before Us (2015)

Everything Before Us

Director: Wesley Chan & Philip Wang

Cast: Aaron Yoo, Brittany Ishibashi, Brandon Soo Hoo, Victoria Park, Randall Park, Ki Hong Lee, Chris Riedell, Joanna Sotomura, Katie Savoy

The Department of Emotional Integrity (DEI) documents all relationship activity. A ‘relationship score’ is given to keep people accountable for their choices. The score is public for all to see, and affects various aspects of daily life. Two couples, teenagers and early 30s, face different but intersecting challenges in their relationships within the rules of the DEI.-IMDB

 Everything Before Us takes an original take on love and relationships. Can you imagine if a Department of Emotional Integrity actually existed? Love wouldn’t be exactly love because now, an individual may force themselves to be happy in a relationship or stay in one to raise their score in order to keep a job or sustain a certain level of lifestyle. Its almost like the privileges of being a part of a club or being rich. Our relationships would affect our score and that score can affect getting a better job. Everything in a relationship and seeing a person is not about the person but they turn into a number. You can’t take risks and you are judged because of a number. The feelings would be overly calculated and maybe even coerced. Its on this foundation that we should start this review. Everything Before Us sets up a feasible system for us to view the parallel stories of a young couple about to experience a long distance relationship and a broken up couple that is reuniting to sort our their issues and ends up finding something more perhaps.

Everything Before Us

Everything Before Us may be an incredibly small film. Wong Fu Productions is kind of a big deal if you know about them. In my circle of friends, only a few do talk about their work. For me, I’ve been following them for a while so its amazing to see them make a film. They are really great at building meaningful and fun short films/snippets/scenarios and I’ve always wondered how it would turn out as a full feature. Everything Before Us is one that makes me want to see what they have planned in the future.

Like I said, its a small independent film and probably a lot of you haven’t heard of it before. But it does have some familiar faces. One of the more popular would be Aaron Yoo who has been in a lot of movies I adore like Disturbia and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. He does a fine job here as Ben. We follow his character for a lot of the movie as he suffers from the low EI score and has to figure all this out. Right next to him in  popularity would be Ki Hong Lee who has a smaller role as a teacher’s assistant is known recently for The Maze Runner movies. This role might a little empty as it felt slightly as a buffer role to just keep the story rolling. Also known to me was Brandon Soo Hoo who plays Seth, the boyfriend in the younger couple and I know him from Ender’s Game and the Netflix series From Dusk Till Dawn. I personally think Brandon Soo Hoo has some acting chops that needs to be refined over time but definitely the potential is there. And its obvious that he does a fine job here.

Everything Before Us

However, no romantic drama is about just one angle. Its how the couple do together. Brandon Soo Hoo’s Seth was opposite of Victoria Park’s Haley. Their young love is cute and fun but also deteriorates with lack of communication and distance and different goals. They took a risk bravely and never thought they would see their love end when they registered naively. However, they also demonstrate the true essence of how relationships should be. Its a chance and a risk. Its genuine and honest and its takes hard work to maintain. All of this is shown extremely well through the script and the characters themselves.

On the other hand, crossing their paths is the other couple who once used to be like them but not anymore and have moved on, Aaron Yoo’s Ben and Brittany Ishibashi’s Sara. The standout of this story goes to them. The story seems to focus on them a lot and maybe because they are closer to my age that I can relate more to where they are after separating and both trying hard to rebuild their lives and follow their own dreams and then having to face their past again. They have learned to control their feelings better and make better choices for the sake of their future in terms of their EI score but it is also an inner struggle for them. The way their relationship is shown is beautiful and bittersweet and filled with all sorts of memorable moments that tugs at our heartstrings a little.

Everything Before Us

In the end, nothing quite wraps up Everything Before Us like this quote in one of the last bits:

…you guys – try to make love easier. But you’re missing the whole point. It’s not supposed to be – – easy. It’s supposed to test you. Break you down and hurt like hell. And who you choose to go through that with – that’s whats really important.” -Ben (Aaron Yoo), Everything Before Us

Overall, Everything Before Us is a pretty great romantic drama bringing up a very good message on relationships and loved delivered with some charming characters that are real enough for us to relate to, whether its the younger couple jumping optimistically into a relationship or the adult couple healing and moving on from a relationship that meant a lot to them. While there are certain roles that felt slightly meaningless, there are other roles that help push the story forward in this meaningful and heartfelt story about two people, further enforcing that there is no risk management in the world of love and relationships.

Have you seen Everything Before Us?
Can you guess what movie is for F selection. Hint: Netflix Original Movie

Genre Grandeur – A Walk to Remember (2002) – Tranquil Dreams

Check out my review over at Rob’s Genre Grandeur this month where I got the pleasure of choosing the genre. My choice was Teen/High School Romances.
There has been a ton of really good reviews for awesome choices already up that I had considered before choosing this one (and one later on). My choice here is for A Walk to Remember. I have reviewed it before here but it is a great teen romance featuring once of the best chemistry in an on-screen couple that always gets my emotions churning and tears flowing by the end of the movie.

MovieRob

high-school-romanceFor this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – High School/Teen Romance Movies, here’s a review of A Walk to Remember (2002) by Kim of Tranquil Dreams

Thanks again to Kim of Tranquil Dreams for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Reut of Sweet Archives.  We will be reviewing our favorite dark comedies. Please get me your submissions by the 25th of July by sending them to darkcom@movierob.net  Try to think out of the box! Great choice Reut!

Let’s see what Darren thought of this movie:

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A Walk to Remember (2002)

a walk to remember poster

Director: Adam Shankman

Cast: Shane West, Mandy Moore, Peter Coyote, Daryl Hannah, Al Thompson, Lauren German

Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore) and Landon Carter (Shane West) could not be more different. Jamie is the Reverend’s daughter and she is her own person not caring about about her appearance or how others see her…

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Valentine’s Day Finale a la Pinterest/Music Obsessions! :)

I’m still taking in how we’re halfway into February already! I don’t usually do much for Valentine’s but it does give me this awesome excuse to sit around and watch lots of romantic comedies.  This year’s marathon will be updated and you can check out the complete list of reviews in the menu under movie.

Usually, I do these special posts and piano covers.  I’ve been extremely lazy at those because it takes time to practice and record over and over and over again in the middle of the night when its all quiet and then have to upload and all that stuff.  So none of that, I’ve put together a Pinterest therapy crossed over with Music Obsessions post Valentine themed!

Strawberries and Cream Heart Cake

Strawberries and Cream Heart Cake

http://positiveoutlooksblog.com/2015/01/05/one-of-the-best-things-in-life/

Pink Chocolate Berry Oreo

Pink Chocolate Berry Oreo

i just really love you

There you go! A little mix of some cute love quotes and Valentine’s baking choices.  I have to actually do those one day.  AND… a ton of music obsessions 🙂 If you like any of the Pinterest stuff, just click on the picture and it’ll go straight to the link.

Hope you all had a fantastic Valentine’s Day spent with your loved ones! 🙂

**Psst! For those reading this, the next week is going to be Academy Awards/Oscars week.  I’ll be watching as many movies as I can nominated in various categories.  I’m not sure how many best picture ones I’ll get in but any ones nominated, I’ll try to see what I can get access to 🙂 Remember to drop by again!**

LOVE YOU ALL! STAY AWESOME! xoxo

Spontaneity *Almost* Always Wins & Six Years Celebration!

2014 has seriously been a intense journey so far.  Lots of good stuff and some stressful stuff going on.

courage

I’ve been trying hard to keep up with the blog and especially reading all of your work.  I am no longer a week behind but 3 days! YAY! I’m trying to take a bit more time so that I can comment more.  There just isn’t really much to say when I skim over a review and final thoughts for a new release I haven’t seen, for one.  My goal this year was to go see ONE movie at the theatres each month.  We just stepped into March and if you frequent my blog, you will have realized I’m at zero for two (March just started, so I won’t count it). Its not even for lack of trying.  I plan it all the time…like Dhoom 3, then I get bombarded with 6-7 work days and plenty of overtime.  So that never happened.  I tried for this past Friday to go see Pompeii and ended up having overtime till 7pm.  Nope, I ended up going home and laying back in my chair and listening to music instead.

BUT, as much as those may seem like excuses, I’m working on it.  Pompeii, Need for Speed, Nymphomaniac: Part 1, and Divergent are all on my to-see list.  If I get half of those seen, I’d be pretty proud of myself.  🙂 I realized planning doesn’t seem to work, so I’m going to do spontaneous.  Once I get the chance and the energy, I’ll do it.  🙂 At least from here on out, every month has something I want to see so its looking good.  I hope I didn’t jinx it!

What movies are you looking forward to see in 2014?

Other than my sidetracked plans, this weekend has been fantastic and also the reason why I postponed writing this up.  I’ve been out and about spending extra time with my boyfriend.  We usually stay in and watch TV or whatnot but yesterday was the Festival of Lights annual overnight event in Montreal and exactly 6 years ago, we started our relationship.

I’ll go more in detail with the Festival of Lights event in a later post during the week.  In the past two years, I dedicated March 1 to writing up a post to my boyfriend and our relationship, so I figured this year, I won’t start making you all vomit from my mushiness 😉 I don’t have any more barf bags to hand out unfortunately.

Here’s a few pictures from last night!

It was REALLY  cold yesterday.  I can’t stress how cold it actually was but my goodness, its the first time we were in that area for the Festival of Lights.  It was a pretty refreshing experience.  Still, I think we were both just totally filled with happiness.  We’re in our six years and this year is bringing us bigger and better things from buying a house together and planning for everything.

good mood bad mood

Aside from the me on Tranquil Dreams, I actually have a pretty bad temper, I get frustrated easily especially when I’m stress and I’ve been suffering some pretty bad skin conditions that won’t go away.  From this past year especially, I totally get that quote up there.  For me, he’s perfect to me because he reminds me to take things one step at a time, and encourages and supports me through all my crazy ideas.  It feels great to know that someone always has my back. I’ve learned through these six years (that passed by so fast) that its important to find someone who can bring positive into your life when you can’t seem to see it; and to remember to have hope and encourage you to follow your dreams.  My boyfriend does that for me and that means a lot to me 🙂 I know he’ll eventually fumble on here and see this 😉

Some exciting/stressful/fun stuff coming up for both of us! 🙂

I tried to keep that short and sweet! Now, to make up for all of that, I always put music with my posts so lets check out some music obsessions I’ve been having (aside from Pitch Perfect clips)!

Hope you like it! 🙂

I won’t keep you any longer since I need to head down to make dinner and get ready to watch the Academy Awards (as a lot of you are probably doing also)! 🙂

Hope you’ve had a great weekend!

P.S. Recommendations month starts tomorrow!  Remember to drop by again! 🙂 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

Back in last November, I did this same challenge over at Sue’s blog called A Word in Your Ear.  It had one of my favorite pictures that portrayed this. You can check it of out HERE!

However, I will still put out my submission for this topic.  Love keeps me going into each and every day.

LOVE FOR MY FAMILY:

Christmas 2010 Family Photo

Christmas 2011 Family Photo

Our Christmas photo from last year with the help of the self timer on my camera.  We do this every year now.  This one showed my mom’s love her for closest thing to a granddaughter (my cat) at this current moment.  Also showed me and my boyfriend’s love.

LOVE FOR OUR BABY CAT:

My boyfriend and our cat

My boyfriend and our cat

I’m a typical mom, okay? My cat may be over 2 years old, almost 3 in March and still, she’s my baby girl all the time. Isn’t it sweet though? The love to our wonderful pets 🙂

LOVE FOR MY BEST FRIENDS:

Me and my best friends

Me and my best friends

These girls are my best friends and they are like my sisters! I don’t usually get all touchy and hugs and stuff.  I’m just not like that, but with these girls, for a self timer picture and a lot of fun and memorable times, I would! Especially posting us kissing our youngest sister in our sisterhood and also was the one who had the most courage and ran out of province to study and work.  Every time she comes back to visit, this is how we show our love: with lots of hugs (and kisses at time)!

FINALLY, THE BEST ONE:

Trying to make a heart!

Trying to make a heart!

What represents LOVE more than me and my best friend trying to make a heart with our arms in a tiny shed-like shelter thing!

If you’d like to join this challenge or see other entries, please head over HERE!

A Word A Week Challenge: Love

I’m back with my first photography post since I arrived in Hong Kong.  I have a few that I’m setting up but lack of internet has made it had to do it.  I’m drafting it and then I’ll go and use the 30 minutes of free wi-fi I can find usually.

Back to this week’s challenge from Sue at A Word in Your Ear.  You can click on the link I put there to join the challenge.  This week her dictionary landed on LOVE.  Love is the reason why I’m in Hong Kong because it was my love for my family that I’m here.  Vacation was the reason I used but it was mostly to visit my grandmother and relatives and well, to spend a vacation with my mom as well.  Things have been rough in Hong Kong and because of work, I haven’t been able to be back.  Today was definitely hard because its been only 3 years and you feel how time has flown by and taken a lot away from someone I love and care about a lot-my grandma.

Another thing that I love Hong Kong for is the food.  Chinese food here is just amazing and delicious.  In Montreal, I can never eat any of the chinese food without having a really quick trip to the washroom but here, its just heavenly.  My favorite is dimsum here.  The only time, I’m willing to eat it everyday and still have immense love for it.

One of my favorite is Steamed Pork Dumplings ( I think thats the name)

There is still lots of LOVE as I haven’t seen all my relatives yet as I’ll be seeing my other grandma (my dad’s mom) tomorrow along with my aunt and uncle.  It’ll be fun!